The Precision Metalforming Association Business Conditions Report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 148 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada. Some highlights: 47% of participants anticipate an improvement in overall economic activity, down from 57% in August; 42% expect that activity will remain unchanged, compared to 35% last month; and 11% report that activity will decline, compared to eight % in August.
Metalforming companies also signaled a more cautious approach in their expectations for incoming orders during the next three months. Fifty-one % predict an increase in orders, down from 62% in August; 35% expect no change, up from 27% the previous month; and 14% of companies anticipate a decrease in orders, up from 11% in August.
However, there was a sharp increase in the %age of companies reporting a rise in their current average daily shipping levels. Fifty-three % of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago, compared to 39% in August;, 30% report no change, down from 37% in August; and 17% report that shipping levels are below levels of three months ago, down from 24% reported last month).
“Metalforming companies are being very cautious about how robust a recovery they are anticipating,” said William E. Gaskin, president of PMA. “While most companies have seen orders and shipments rise over the past few months, they are concerned that this is a temporary situation that may plateau in the fourth quarter and one that is unlikely to gain significant momentum in at least the first quarter of 2010.”
The full report is available from the PMA.